Welcome to Vinelea Wines of Beechworth 

Vinelea is a small vineyard and winery, owned and managed by Stuart Smith & Rhonda Parish, a couple who both studied science. We worked in Melbourne in various technical and professional roles before moving to Beechworth in country Victoria for a life more in tune with the seasons. 


We are passionate about conservation, the health of our land and the vineyard in particular. The care and attention taken to all vineyard work and winemaking results in high quality, intensely flavoured wine.


We produce very small quantities of four wines, the style of all being influenced by classic French wines. Each is designed to be appealing in youth, as well as promising an exciting old age. We do not make wines to please wine critics, we make individual wines that are a pleasure to drink.


“Glorious, opulent wines that feed the soul”

Our Shiraz is concentrated and full bodied with fine tannins, and offers scents of raspberry, blackberry, earth, spice, black cherry, bacon, olives and pepper. The Chardonnay is in the traditional full bodied Beechworth style, and displays good body and depth of lemon/lime fruit flavours that will mellow and become rounder and deeper with age. The ‘petit blanc’, a blend of the classic Rhone varieties of Marsanne & Roussanne, is a white wine with superlative body and texture but still exhibits honey and pear flavours which intensify with age. The Pinot is shows excellent tannin, fruit, structure and body.


All our grapes are sourced from our own Malakoff Road vineyard, and the wine is made and bottled by ourselves on the property.


Our vineyard, established in 2006, is three km NW of Beechworth township and sits in a horseshoe bend of Graveyard Creek, with a ridge line at 400m above sea level, and gentle sloping faces to both the north and south. The north aspect is noticeably warmer and ideal for Shiraz. The south aspect is cooler, more protected and better suited to the Chardonnay, Roussanne and Marsanne plantings. The soil is the highly-regarded decomposed buckshot gravel over clay.


We bring a scientific approach to vineyard management, in that we observe and act where required and no more. We are extremely conservative with vineyard sprays using only the traditional Copper and Sulphur sprays to prevent mildew, and other simple chemicals only where absolutely necessary.


Vineyard planting is at 1000 vines per acre and we rigorously shoot and fruit thin to ensure that each vine is only carrying the crop it can ripen, and adjust these levels based on the weather each year. We are focused on long term vineyard health, and that includes biodiversity and caring for the soil. So we are essentially following organic principles, with a strong focus on composting and ploughing to open the soil to moisture and air penetration.


Our wine making philosophy is highly influenced by traditional French practices, including minimal intervention, clean healthy fruit, yeast from the vineyard, the best French oak that we can afford, long, slow maturation, minimal fining and filtering of the white wines and none for the reds.